Dark Matter House

La Maison Des Artistes Visuels Francophones
Winnipeg Canada
June 10 – September 4, 2021

View exhibition catalog

The inspiration for Dark Matter House comes from a story my father told me about growing up on my grandparent’s farm in Alberta. An elderly couple becomes lost while walking the short and familiar distance between my grandparent’s farmstead and their own as a violent and quick snowstorm descends. In the morning they are discovered frozen to death a stone’s throw from their gate. What strikes me about this story besides its tragic and almost unbelievable outcome is how it is also a narrative about space: a house, a field and another house with figures moving through as everything is atomized through the snowstorm.

The emotive and formal aspects found in this story are two poles I began exploring through various forms of data taking in 2018 while on a residency in Newfoundland at 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects.

The farmstead in my father’s story was replaced by the similarly remote salt box structures found at the residency. Here I began to explore my compulsion for mapping space. I use the word compulsion because I have Tourette’s syndrome (a personal dark force constantly present), and one of my ‘ticks’ has been to trace objects repeatedly with my mind’s eye. I have, over time, come to control this by distilling it in my work as a mathematical approach; translating the formal information of my subject matter into irregularly hole punched and painted marks. Through this process of mapping and reduction, what remains becomes an archetypal representation of beingness. This shift from the specific to the archetypal is a spiritual inquiry for me that begins to suggest the true nature of reality.

The work in Dark Matter House tells stories, then collapses those narratives and strips them away. Dark matter or unseen forces are left; dilated through an archeology and alchemy of newspaper images. House symbolizes the self, both in the Old English bānhūs  or bonehouse meaning the body and Carl Jung’s interpretation of house as psyche. Like the couple in my father’s story I would like the viewer to sense the gap with the intangible and to experience the awe and horror of walking through a three-dimensional world we do not quite understand.